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AI traffic lights installed at Regal House junction

Photo by Johnny Bugeja

A new set of traffic lights at the Regal House junction came into effect on Friday morning, with AI features introduced to minimise the risk of traffic accidents by allowing cyclists and electric scooter users a “small head start”.

Works have been on-going over the past few weeks to install the necessary infrastructure for Artificial Intelligent Detection and Advanced Stop Lines (ASLs) and these have been undertaken in phases, in order to maintain traffic flow at all times, a statement from the Ministry of Transport said.

“The existing system which will now be upgraded was intended to be adaptive, implementing technology that was available at the time,” the statement said.

“The system made use of detectors at various locations, both at traffic signal head height and embedded within the actual road surface, to provide real time management of waiting times in line with demand, with the aim of improving traffic flow in the area.”

“The updated system will introduce detectors, which use artificial intelligence to identify the difference between motor vehicles and bicycles/PLET’s at various points, changing priorities and staging how the junction operates.”

Low Level bicycle Lights and Advance Stop Lines will be introduced to guide bicycles/PLET’s at the junction, the statement added.

“These features will minimise the risk of an accident by allowing cyclist and PLET users a small head start before vehicles are allowed to set off,” the statement said.

“The revised traffic light system will revert to pedestrian and bicycle priority outside of peak hours, when no demands are present.”

“It will also benefit from more modern LED lamps and a backup power supply to minimise junction disruption during any power outages.”

“Pedestrian users will also see updated push buttons, which will include both tactile and audible aids for the visually impaired.”

The revised traffic light system were operational as from midnight.

Drivers and pedestrians are advised to exercise caution until they adjust to the changes at this junction.

The Minister for Transport, Paul Balban, said: “This new intelligent traffic light system is seen in many modern cities.”

“It allows bicycles and PLET’s to filter past stationary vehicles on traffic lights safely, by way of a segregated lane, whilst giving the pedestrian safe access and priority when the pedestrian light goes green.”

“The Advanced Stop Lines also give bicycles and PLET’s a small head start at the traffic light junction, to see them safely on their way before the lights go green for vehicles.”

“This system will respond intelligently to vehicles and pedestrians helping to improve traffic flow.”

“I would like to thank my technical team and the Gibraltar Electricity Authority for their tireless efforts bringing this project to fruition.”

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